COLUMBUS, Neb. – The town of Columbus was visited by a classic Union Pacific train and some special guests on Friday.
The ‘Nebraska 150 Express’ a 1950’s high speed diesel train came to Columbus from Omaha on the first rally of the three-day ‘Whistle Stop Tour’ across the state.
Once the train parked on 12th St and 26th Ave. Governor Pete Ricketts and his wife Susanne Shore, former Husker coach Tom Osborne and former astronaut Clayton Anderson, came out to greet Columbus Mayor Jim Bulkley.
“So this is really a great time to celebrate our past, think about our future, remember our heroes and remember we got this best place in the world because of our people,” says Ricketts.
“The founders of this community picked this spot hoping that this would be (Union Pacific’s) main line, and it sure enough was,” says Bulkley.
The two statewide celebrities infused humor into their speeches, with Osborne telling the crowd why he was picked to ride along in the first place.
“The reason is, I was the only guy that could find that was old enough that was around when Nebraska became a state, joked Osborne.
And Anderson said that the train is a tad different than the spaceships he used to pilot.
“I do have one bone to pick with the Union Pacific Railroad and that is this train doesn’t go nearly fast enough for me,” says Anderson.
Gov. Ricketts and Mayor Bulkley exchanged gifts with each other before the group had to get back into the 2,000 horsepower streamliner locomotive for a trip to North Platte.